Since I’ve seen so many posts about narcissists lately, I thought I’d share this lovely article. I’ve shared it on Facebook, but many of my readers aren’t on my FB feed. So I’m sharing it here too. The Rotten Truth About People Who Call Other People Narcissists by Isaiah Hankel. I’ve added a bit to this, so it’s not quite the same as my FB post, but it’s valuable information.
Even I post about narcissism, and I think it’s vital to remember that while we all have some thoughts that may take us down that road, what I find most relevant is that narcissists do feel. The difference is they don’t feel bad for hurting others, they feel bad for getting caught at hurting others. The vast difference is that they don’t want to look bad or face their part. They avoid taking responsibility by blaming others instead.
But we are responsible for our lives and ourselves. Period. No one else.
If we simply label others and blame them for our problems, we are the narcissists.
When I get triggered by someone, it’s on me. I must own my trigger. Me being triggered doesn’t make someone a narcissist. It means I’m triggered from my own PTSD. That is mine to own. If I don’t and I simply blame them, then I’d be the narcissist. We all have our part to own.
I particularly enjoyed this line from the article. It’s something that people with healthy boundaries will understand.
“People who care about themselves more than you are not narcissists. They’re healthy.”
This line means so much to me because I used to think my happiness rested in the hands of others. It doesn’t. It’s in my hands. I’m responsible for my happiness and joy. Which means if I need to take an action that puts my needs first, this is healthy. This is not narcissism. It’s me maintaining my health.
This line also meant a lot to me. “Quit obsessing. Quit being needy. Realize you are in control.” As someone with C-PTSD, it’s very easy to become paranoid that people are out to get me. This is simply untrue. Most of the time, no one is out to get anyone. Sure people gossip, and they may say something unkind when they are first hurt or angry, but there is rarely ever a conspiracy. How self-absorbed am I if I feel there’s some mass conspiracy and everyone is out to get me? Pretty self-absorbed, that’s for sure! Which is why I’m glad I treat my PTSD and don’t give in to those paranoid delusions.
After I posted on Facebook, this popped up on a friend’s feed. It’s by Brené Brown. For those who haven’t listened to her Ted Talks, I highly recommend her. She says, “When we blame, we miss our opportunity to experience empathy.”
Blaming is lazy.
I don’t feel it’s wrong to practice discernment. Being able to take a step back and look at a situation with the eyes of wisdom, insight, and an understanding of our own biases is key though. Especially this last part.
As someone who is self-aware in the areas of my own biases, I know if something someone does touches an area where I can’t view things objectively, then I bring in a trusted confidant to help me. And then I listen when that person tells me I’m in the wrong or not seeing things clearly. Other times I am seeing clearly and having that second opinion is valuable.
There are narcissists out there. But this does not mean that everyone that makes us angry or sets a boundary with us is a narcissist. Before throwing around labels, we should have some healthy discernment. And that includes taking a look in the mirror to see if our own nonsense might be getting in our way of seeing clearly.
I highly recommend reading Isaiah’s article. He gives suggestions on how to avoid being narcissistic. He addresses the issue through observations of his own behavior. Which I love and respect.
I say all of this because it’s easy to label someone. It’s much harder to look in the mirror and take responsibility for ourselves. But that is our job if we are to be good, happy, joyous people.
I have so many wonderful people in my life. Folks that do look in the mirror. That listen, accept their faults, and actively work to grow and change. They’re honest and have integrity. They aren’t afraid to accept their part and take responsibility.
I respect all of you so much for that. ❤ Thank you for your courage to face your faults and grow along with me as I face my own. This wonderful journey of life is about constant growth and change, and it’s not easy. I admire all of you who take these steps and behave like adults.